Plenty of vegetables

Oh was this a lovely holiday! We came back from Krakow late thursday evening. So we spent a whole week down in Poland attending Jens & Aga's wedding. Beside that, we ate a lot, walked a lot and made many pictures, too ;)

Later this week I hope to show you more of our (foodie) adventures and some restaurant recommandations. Today I'm going to share a really yummy recipe, which comes from a cookbook that arrived just yesterday :) Plenty from Yotam Ottolenghi, whose first cookbook I bought recently, is not only a collection of vegetable recipes which were released in his column 'The New Vegetarian' for the Guardian's Weekend magazine, it also features brand-new recipes. After a first run over the pages I found plenty (haha - sorry ;) ) of eye-catching recipes. I also like its clean and simple style and cover, lovely food photography and a short introductional story to every recipe.

Here I'd like to list you some meals featured in the book which I'm definetly going to cook:
  • Beetroot, yoghurt and preserved lemon relish
  • Caramelized garlic tart
  • Crusted pumpkin wedges with soured cream
  • Soba noodles with aubergine and mango
  • Caramelized fennel with goat's curd
  • Lemon and aubergine risotto

Today I cooked a multi-vegetable paella, which we enhanced with codfish and king prawns.

Multi-vegetable paella serves 2 generously
adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi 'Plenty' p. 80

olive oil
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 small red and 1 small yellow onion, cut into stripes
1/2 fennel bulb, cut into stripes
2 garlic gloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground tumeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
150g paella rice
100mL sherry
1 tsp saffron threads
450mL chicken stock
200g shelled broad beans
12 mini plum tomatoes, halved
one hand full of coarsly chopped parsley

Heat a large pan over medium heat, add a gulp olive oil and fry the onions for about 5 minutes. Add the peppers and fennel and fry until soft and golden. This should take about 5-6 minutes more. Now add the garlic gloves. After one minute it's time to add the spices. Throw in the bay leaves, paprika, turmeric and cayenne pepper and stir until the vegetables are nicely coated. Surely you can adjust the heat to your taste. Then add the rice and stir continuosly the next 2 minutes, then add the sherry and saffron threads. Boil until the liquid is absorbed and add the stock and a pinch of salt. 

Reduce the heat to a barely simmer, don't cover the pan and don't stir the next 20 minutes. In the meantime you can shell the broad beans. If they're frozen or fresh just cover them with plenty of boiling water, leave for a minute and drain well. Shell when they're cooled down. Remove the skin by gently squeeze each bean and discard the skin. Now the 20 minutes shall be over. 

Remove from heat, adjust the seasoning to taste without stirring to much and scatter the tomatoes and broad beans over the rice. Cover the pan tightly with foil and leave for another 10 minutes. Take off the foil and add the parsley. In the meantime the paella rested, I fried the codfish and king prawns in a seperate pan with olive oil on high heat. On each side ca. 1 minute, then I cut it into mouth-sized pieces and added the fish along with the parsley to the paella. The traditional recipe also calls for 5 small grilled artichokes (in oil in a jar, drained and quartered) and pitted kalamata olives (15, crushed or halved). If using them, just add the artichokes with the beans and the olives with the parsley. I hope you will enjoy the paella just as I did today!

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